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Last updated: 29 September 2020
Status:
Date:Wednesday 10 December 1952
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47D (DC-3)
Operator:United States Air Force - USAF
Registration: 43-49553
C/n / msn: 26814/15369
First flight: 1944
Crew:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:24 km (15 mls) SSW of Wells, NV (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Colorado Springs-Peterson AFB, CO (COS/KCOS), United States of America
Destination airport:Reno-Stead AFB, NV (KRTS), United States of America
Narrative:
A Douglas C-47D was damaged beyond repair when it impacted the east slope of the East Humboldt range near Wells, Nevada. All six on board were killed.
The flight was conducted in weather conditions that included extreme turbulence and turbulent down drafts.

Probable Cause:

While on instruments, the pilot had not maintained sufficient drift correction to stay within the airway, and extreme downdrafts caused the aircraft to descend approximately 1300 feet below assigned altitude.

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» The Douglas DC-1/DC-2/DC-3 - the first seventy years / J.M. Gradidge
» Ruby Mountains Express


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Colorado Springs-Peterson AFB, CO to Reno-Stead AFB, NV as the crow flies is 1300 km (813 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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